I'm coming down with some kind of flu bug, so this review is going to be pretty short. (Ditto tomorrow night's "Breaking Bad," unfortunately; at least I wrote my "Wire" post before I started coughing.) Brief spoilers for "Torchwood" coming up just as soon as I explain the "Jessica Fletcher" joke to the young people in the audience...
After being so jazzed by the lighter, more confident tone of last week's "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang," I felt very frustrated with the first 10 minutes or so of "Sleeper," which seemed to be backsliding to all the things I didn't like about last year: plots with minimal logic (in retrospect, Torchwood was right to look into this case, but at the time I had no idea why they were there), everyone yelling all the time, Jack reinserting the stick up his butt, etc. Who, I wondered, thought that doing a Guantanamo allegory was a good fit for this show?
But then we discovered what Beth really was, and the episode began to click. When I described the basic plot of the episode in my column last week, someone said it sounded similar to Boomer in "Battlestar Galactica" season one. And while there are parallels, "Sleeper" went more into the visceral horror of finding out you're not who you think you are, particularly those moments where Beth's body began operating independently from her mind. The scene in the hospital where she killed her husband without realizing it sent chills down my spine, as did throwaway moments with the other sleeper agents, like the woman who let the baby carriage roll into traffic.
I'm not sure I completely followed the rest of the story -- Why would some of the other sleeper agents be willing to blow themselves up? How is that even possible with such a bad-ass forcefield? -- but the episode moved quickly and there were enough moments of sheer terror to engage me as it went along.
I still prefer the Jack of last week (or of "Doctor Who"), but this wasn't bad at all.
What did everybody else think?